A Guide To Crawl A Website Without Getting Blocked

Any information can now be obtained easily, thanks to the growing technology and the world wide web. Web data extraction is used by individuals and companies who want to make better decisions by using an enormous amount of publicly accessible web data. 

However, if you want to access information from a specific website, you’d have to either use the website’s format or manually copy and paste the information into a new document. This might be tiresome and time-consuming. This is where internet scraping is advantageous.

What Is Web Scraping/Web Crawling?

The method of collecting data from a website is known as web scraping. This data is gathered and then exported into a format that is more user-friendly; whether it’s a spreadsheet or an API. While web scraping can be performed manually, automated tools are usually preferred when scraping web data because they are less expensive and work faster.

A web crawler and web scraper are used to perform web scraping. A web crawler, also known as a “spider,” is a form of artificial intelligence that uses links and exploration to filter and search for content on the internet. A web scraper is a specialized tool that extracts data from a web page accurately and easily.

How to Stop Getting Blocked in Web Scraping?

Most websites block web crawlers and scrapers because they degrade the site’s performance. While not everyone will have an anti-scraping system in place, they will not tolerate web scraping because it degrades the user experience. So, how do you scrape the data without being blocked?

1. Inspect The Robots Exclusion Protocol (robots.txt)

Always check the robots.txt file to make sure you’re following the site’s policies. Make sure you’re just crawling pages that you’re authorized to. Even if the website allows web scraping, you can still be blocked, so it’s crucial to take other precautions as well.

2. Use Proxy Servers

When a site notice that the same, single IP address is making several requests and collecting data, it becomes suspicious and blocks the IP address. It means you won’t be able to access the information you need. This is where proxies come in.

Proxy servers are servers that act as a middleman between end-users and the websites they visit. They serve as a “gateway” or “secondary device” through which all of your online requests move before reaching the website or information you’re looking for. The proxy controls these requests and executes them on your behalf, usually by retrieving responses from its local database or sending the request to the desired web server. The proxy will then send the data to you once the request has been completed.

Proxies are used by certain people for personal reasons, such as masking their location when streaming movies. However, for a company, they can be used to improve security, secure employees’ internet usage, balance internet traffic to avoid crashes, monitor which websites workers have access to, and reduce bandwidth usage by caching files or modifying incoming traffic.

Picking the best proxy server may vary depending on your needs and reasons. Of course, we recommend signing up for The Social Proxy, as we provide our customers with reliable, secure and unlimited connection anytime and anywhere.

3. Rotating IP Address

Now that you are aware of what proxy servers can do, here’s one type of proxy that you should master: Rotating Proxies. 

A rotating proxy is a proxy software that designates a new IP address from its proxy list to each link. That means you can run a script that sends tons of requests to any number of websites, resulting in tons of different IP addresses. IP rotation accomplishes a basic but essential task: it assigns a new IP address to each connection.

Users that need to do a lot of high-volume, continuous web scraping should use rotating proxies. They allow you to visit the same website repeatedly while remaining anonymous.

4. Different Logics Should Be Used To Extract Data

Sites provide methods for analyzing search patterns and detecting that information is being extracted from the web by someone other than a human visitor. Humans do not always use the same method to navigate a website. They’ll move in a zig-zag pattern. Internet scraping, on the other hand, follows a predictable and consistent pattern. Such a pattern is easily detectable by a site’s anti-scraping mechanisms.

Scraping data is not like what a human user might do. Extracting data, on the other hand, is more habitual and continuous, making it easier to detect — the more that you should alter your logic from time to time. You can also do some random clicks on various websites. Random mouse movements that are consistent with a human user may also give the impression that the site is being accessed by a human.

5. Use Different User Agents (Real Ones)

The only way to avoid being blocked is to rotate various user-agent headers. For each and every request to a popular web browser, rotate the user-agent header. Suspicious user agents are quickly detected by servers. Common HTTP request configurations submitted by organic visitors are stored in real user agents. If you want to stop being blocked, make your user agent look like an organic one.

6. Take Note Of Anti-scraping Software

Since web scraping is so common in today’s world, websites have started to prepare themselves to deal with it. Sites may become suspicious if they receive unusual traffic or a high download rate, particularly if it comes from a single user or IP address. This allows them to tell the difference between a human and a scraper. 

Many websites have anti-scraping software installed that can detect web crawling and scraping. The honey pot is one of the most commonly used instruments. It’s been installed and added to the CSS and javascript libraries. The honey pots can’t be seen with the naked eye. The alarm goes off the moment you click on a specific connection. Therefore, it’s important to take the time to research a site’s anti-scraping mechanisms and adjust your scraping strategy and tool accordingly.

Final Thoughts

Scaling up a web scraping project is a difficult job. I hope this review has given you some ideas about how to keep good requests coming in and avoid blocking. Proxy management is one of the building blocks of a good web scraping project, as discussed previously. Try The Social Proxy if you need a tool to make web scraping easier. The rotating proxy network of the Social Proxy is centered on a specialized ban recognition and request throttling technique. We’ll make sure your web scraped data gets to you safely!